Reading Outside the Box

26 Oct

I read mostly mysteries and suspense novels, because that is what I write and because I review books for Suspense Magazine. But occasionally I read something outside of those genres. I find that a different type of book and writing style can spark my own writing and stretch my creativity.

Last night I downloaded The Book Thief to my Kindle, as a borrowed book from my library. I have only read a few chapters, but I was struck by the originality of the writing. The first person narrator is Death. He (or she?) tells the story of a young girl, the book thief, who manages to cheat Death more than once.

The story is set in Nazi Germany, so it is clear in what direction this book is headed. But I know that although the story may have been told before, it has not been told in this way.

As a reader or a writer, it is good to move out of the familiar and try something new. I would never have thought of writing from the point of view of Death, but it would be a good writing exercise to write from the point of view of an inanimate object — the cave where the body was found, or the diaries that held the words of Lydia, the main character in my book Lydia’s Story.

As a reader or a writer, what do you do to climb out of the box of familiarity and try something new?

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Reading Outside the Box”

  1. Brian Benoit October 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    I find it really helpful to read poetry instead of prose – both modern and more traditional. It gives me new ways of looking at sound and construction, of metaphors and images that really stretch the imagination. But like you mentioned, writing from different perspectives is also a really good way to go about it

  2. teeceecounsel October 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Creative concept you just shared! I usually try new things by putting myself in different scenarios, but this is just excitingly different. Seeing myself like a cave may mean that I cannot move and I may have lasted ages. Beautiful really!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: